Before this season, Crenshaw (Los Angeles, Calif.) athlete Dominique Hatfield had flown under the radar of most football analysts and college recruiters. Despite developing a reputation in the Coliseum League for making plays over the past two years, it took a while for college recruiters to notice.
Utah was the first school to notice, and extended an offer earlier this month. After thinking it over for a couple of weeks, Hatfield decided that Utah was the place he wanted to be.
"I decided to commit because they offer a lot for me," Hatfield said. "I'm very comfortable with the coaching staff, the head coach and offensive coordinator. They've been talking to me since my junior year."
When they offered Hatfield, Utah was looking for help with their receiving corps. However, Hatfield's prowess as a cornerback may have them reevaluate how they want to use him. "They recruited me to play receiver, but just recently they found out how good a defensive back I was, so now I'm able to go out there and probably choose a position," he said.
For Hatfield, the choice between offense and defense may be difficult. "I like defense, but I like the ball in my hands so I don't know. It's going to be a tough one," he said.
Utah was Hatfield's first offer, but the talented athlete has received interest from a number of schools in recent weeks including Colorado, UCLA and San Jose State. "Last night at the game, UCLA talked to me a bit. My teammate Mossi [Johnson] is committed there. They've got him talking to me about UCLA, but I'm going to stick with the Utes," he said.
With the ability to excel on both sides of the ball, Hatfield is arguably the most versatile recruit in Utah's 2013 class. Hatfield believes he'll bring a lot to the table when he arrives in Salt Lake City.
"On offense, if I can get to open space I'm going to break the tackle. I can also be a speed receiver or a possession receiver. On defense, I'm mentally ready. That's what you've got to have as a DB. It's more mental than physical most of the time. I'm good at reading the quarterback, I'm good at reading receivers and I'm good at studying film," he explained.
Hatfield is planning on taking his official visit to Salt Lake City next weekend, as the Utes take on Cal. In the meantime, he feels that he's found a home with Utah. "I'm sticking with the Utes. I think I'll be very comfortable out there. There's a lot of players out there that are from where I'm from. They say it's good out there and I'd like to get away [from Los Angeles]," he explained.